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Congress grilled representatives from Big Tech companies Tuesday during a much-anticipated antitrust hearing, asking about everything from the size of their businesses to their potentially anti-competitive practices. The hearing came amid scrutiny from federal agencies, as well as calls by some politicians to break up or at least more strictly regulate the most valuable companies in the world.
In response, representatives from Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple had one consistent defense: If we’re so big and bad, how come we have so many competitors? Each of the opening statements prepared by the tech execs included some variation of the word “compete” at least a dozen times.
This isn’t a new playbook, by the way: Giant companies trying to convince Washington regulators to bless their mergers (see: Comcast/NBCUniversal, AT&T/Time Warner) do so by insisting that they face plenty of existential threats from competition. (Not surprisingly, they usually tell their shareholders a different story.)
Below is a sample of some of the defensive claims Big Tech made yesterday as it tried to dissuade politicians from regulating their massive businesses. We’ve provided some counterpoints:
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